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The Force Exile series is an ongoing fan book series written and produced by Atarumaster88, currently distributed via request with the author and on the Star Wars Fanon Wiki. The first novel, Force Exile I: Fugitive, was released in June 2007 at a net size of 60,000 words and set in the final stages of the galaxy-spanning Clone Wars. Fugitive introduced several original characters to the Star Wars universe, including the Jedi Padawan Selusda Kraen and ARC trooper Alpha-28, also known as Spectre. In Fugitive, the characters of the story must each confront the grim reality of Order 66 and the rise of the Empire, finding their way in a galaxy changed forever by the revenge of the Sith. For the cover, Atarumaster88 was able to procure art from a user on the Star Wars Fanon Wiki named Solus, and the detailed covers have been a mainstay of the series ever since. Fugitive garnered critical acclaim from several reviewers, including the Star Wars Fanon Newsletter's staff, as well as winning the Best Novel Award in the Third Wiki Awards.

With the completion of Fugitive, Atarumaster88 began working on its sequel, Force Exile II: Smuggler, which continues the story of Selu and Spectre a few months after Fugitive, while bringing previously minor characters introduced in Fugitive to greater prominence. These include Sarth Kraen, Selu's brother, and R'hask Sei'lar, the captain of the freighter Hawk-bat. Smuggler also introduced Milya Tayrce, a runaway Echani who went on to play a large role in the novel. Smuggler finished with an explosive ending, with the final novel compiled in November 2007—a total writing time of less than six months for a 97,000 word novel. Although the sequel received less critical notice, Atarumaster88 continued to write the final book of the trilogy, Force Exile III: Liberator, an even longer work that ended up spanning 151,000 words. Set in 16 BBY, Liberator brought resolution to characters and events introduced throughout the Force Exile books, setting them off in new directions at the end of the novel. It was finished in May 2008, with a total writing period of five months. Atarumaster88 attributed this pace to his extensive pre-planned outlining and layout work, as well as the multiple revisions the story's outline underwent as it evolved and grew. However, Solus temporarily left the project after Smuggler, leaving Atarumaster88 to contact Darth Nyne to continue the production of covers for the series.

Starting in the summer of 2008, Atarumaster88 began work on a follow-on work to Liberator, an anthology of short stories known as the Yanibar Tales, stating that the stories within in it followed looser guidelines than his novels and could be written in a couple of weeks. Another follow-on work, The Essential Guide to Force Exile, is currently being released part by part, being partially complete as of this writing. Atarumaster88 has also announced that a second trilogy of Force Exile novels exists as well, starting with Force Exile IV: Guardian, set to be released in 2009, followed by a fifth work known as Force Exile V: Warrior. The first segment of Guardian has been released thus far, along with the cover for the work, which was also produced by Solus. The author has since revealed that the title of the sixth and final Force Exile novel is Force Exile VI: Prodigal and has also announced the ninth overall Force Exile work, the Yanibar Guard Sourcebook. The announcement of Sourcebook marks the release of all Force Exile works, and its cover art was produced by Solus.

Force Exile I: Fugitive

ForceExile03

Force Exile I: Fugitive is the first book in the Force Exile series. A somewhat short 120-page novel divided into twelve chapters, it intentionally followed a rather simplistic structure, with only two main characters, both Human males. Atarumaster88 felt that for his first foray into writing narrative prose, it would be easier to limit the scope of the novel and focus on developing the characters he did choose to work with, namely Selusda Kraen and Alpha-28 "Spectre". Particularly, he felt that a female, alien, or droid lead character would add a level of difficulty that he wasn't sure he could handle.[1]

Dramatis Personae

Galactic Republic officials

Jedi Order

Other

Sections

To allow a partial release of the novel and to keep the overall page size down, for ease of reading and organization,[1] Atarumaster88 divided Force Exile I: Fugitive into five sections, which are further subdivided into chapters.[2]

Plot

The book opens at the start of the Battle of Boz Pity in 19 BBY, near the end of the Clone Wars, where Selusda Kraen, the Padawan of Jedi Master Plo Koon takes to the cockpit of his starfighter as part of the Galactic Republic assault against the Separatist positions over the world of Boz Pity. The Republic and Confederacy have been fighting for nearly three years by now, sparked by the secession of thousands of worlds from the Republic, and the Jedi have been at the forefront of Republic armies since the war's beginning, leading armies of clone troopers against their mechanized foes. However, in the dogfight, Selu's ship is shot down and he crashes in a remote location on Boz Pity behind enemy lines. Plo Koon, concerned for the safety of his apprentice but otherwise occupied with matters that prevent him from attending to Selusda's welfare himself, dispatches an ARC trooper, Alpha-28, henceforth known as Spectre, to locate and retrieve Selusda—usually referred to as Selu. After several days' journey, Spectre locates Selu, who has been dodging hostile scout patrols and the two return to a small Republic outpost. Devoid of his master's companionship, Selu develops a friendship with Spectre over the next several days, but his duty soon calls him back to war and he departs the outpost to rejoin his master.[2]

However, as his gunship departs, the outpost is attacked by Separatist aircraft. Selu orders his craft turned around to engage the droid craft as Spectre leads a desperate defense. Selu personally helps destroy the attacking craft, but the outpost's personnel have suffered heavy casualties, and Spectre is badly wounded. Selu signals for aid and takes charge of the outpost until aid arrives, defying his master's orders since he felt he was needed more at the outpost.[2]

As the main part of the greater Battle of Boz Pity winds down, Selu is met by Plo Koon, who brings a relief force to the outpost to man it and evacuate the casualties. The Jedi Master is proud of his Padawan for his courage, but cautions him against letting his emotions rule him, as such actions lead to the dark side of the Force. Having seen that Selu will need to be prepared for future challenges, Plo Koon intensifies his training even as the pair return to the galactic capital of Coruscant. As a member of the Jedi Council, Plo Koon could hardly afford to be on the battlefield constantly; some of the Masters have to remain at the temple to provide leadership for the Jedi Order.[2]

At the Jedi Temple, Selu is reunited with his friend Serra Keto, who has already become a Jedi Knight. A talented lightsaber duelist, Keto is a good friend to Selu, but her own skill reminds Selu of his shortcomings in that area; throughout his youth, Selu has largely been viewed as an average or mediocre Padawan, barely worthy of a vaunted Jedi Master like Plo Koon. While proficient in telekinesis, unarmed combat and a good student thanks to a nearly eidetic memory, Selu is neither a natural at using the Force nor in wielding a lightsaber. He grows increasingly frustrated with his apparent lack of progress in the demanding training regimen, but his friends—Keto, a Human male named Bairdon Jace and a Tynnan Padawan named Skip, help him in his quest. Eventually, Selu is ordered to take his Jedi trials and confronts a dark side spirit after a week of meditation and fasting. Succeeding in adhering to the light side of the Force during his encounter, Selu is promoted to the rank of Jedi Knight, a joyous occasion of celebration for him and his friends.[2]

However, while he is still stationed on Coruscant, the dreaded Separatist General Grievous attacks Coruscant. Selu is thrown into the planet's hasty defense, flying alongside twenty-one other Jedi in an attempt to break through Separatist jamming send a message calling for Republic reinforcements. They are successful, but the battle quickly degenerates into a prolonged brawl. Flying for hours on end, Selu's reflexes fail him again and he is again shot down. Bailing out, he continues the fight on the ground with the aid of Republic soldiers against a numerically superior enemy. Battling against Vulture droid starfighters, Selu leaps from droid to droid, disabling them with his lightsaber, but is severely injured in the process. Rescued by a group of Republic senators fleeing the battlefield, he is eventually taken to the Jedi Temple to recover as the Separatist force s eventually withdrew.[2]

Meanwhile, Spectre is on Tellanroaeg, an Outer Rim world and another battleground between the Republic and Confederacy. Assigned a lone reconnaissance mission, he successfully spots air strikes on a Separatist column, but is found by droid forces before air support can arrive. Pinned down, he too is injured while trying to hold off droid patrols. However, backup support arrives in time, annihilating the droid column and allowing friendly forces to extract Spectre. Once he recovers, he is assigned by his commander, CC-3433 "Trip", to help train a militia out of local inhabitants to augment the Republic forces. He does so, proving to be a hard taskmaster and a demanding instructor. From his view, Spectre feels that the only way that any of the militia will have a chance in combat is if he pushes them hard, which inevitably causes flared tensions between him and the troops under his command. Many of them drop out, but Spectre is left with a little over a hundred hardened militia to take to combat and they acquit themselves well in the defense against a droid attack.[2]

Back on Coruscant, Selu spends some time convalescing, but he does not recover in time to join his former master on Cato Neimoidia. Not long before he is scheduled to depart for the Outer Rim battleground of Mygeeto, the Jedi Temple falls under attack from clone troopers, led by the fallen Jedi Anakin Skywalker, who betrayed the Jedi and became the Sith Lord Darth Vader. Vader's onslaught is ruthless and the desperate defense put up by Selu, Skip, and the other Jedi does little against the numbers of the clones and Vader's fury. In the fighting, Skip falls to clone fire, and Selu is outraged and horrified. With his last words, Skip encourages him to not give in to his anger and tells him that it's better to stay in the light side of the Force. Realizing there is nothing else he can do, Selu begins fleeing the temple, seizing a few holocrons and other relics in an attempt to preserve Jedi lore. On his way out of the temple, though, he finds Serra Keto, lying crushed under a pillar but amazingly still alive. Keto tells him that Vader did this to her and Selu is once again filled with anger, but Keto calms him down, saying that she doesn't want to be remembered with anger and reiterates Skip's warning to stay in the light. She then admits that she loves Selu; a feeling Selu has long reciprocated but has been unable to vocalize due to Jedi restrictions on attachment and relationships of a romantic nature. They share a kiss, but Serra weakens and succumbs to her injuries. Grief-stricken, Selu runs from the Jedi Temple, seeking to escape the carnage.[2]

Wandering through Coruscant, he finds the body of Mace Windu, a Jedi Master, who was also slain by the Sith, but can do little other than burn the body to prevent its discovery by the clones. He eventually collapses from exhaustion several kilometers from the burning Jedi Temple, but is soon discovered by none other than his biological brother, Sarth Kraen, who recognizes Selu from their eerie physical similarity. Kraen, an engineer on a freighter, takes his wounded and heart-stricken brother back to his own residence. However, he also tells Selu that not only was there nothing he could have done to stop the attack, but that popular sentiment is not on the side of the Jedi. Sarth also adamantly refuses to take Selu to the Senate Hall when Selu gets a hold of a live broadcast and sees a lightsaber duel between Grand Master Yoda and Darth Sidious, saying that he wouldn't accomplish anything except get them both killed. Selu is despondent for several days, but Sarth tells him he can start a new life, offering to ask his employer, a Bothan named R'hask Sei'lar, about hiring Selu as a pilot on his ship, the Hawk-bat. Before Sei'lar returns from business, though, Sarth is kidnapped by a pair of mysterious attackers. Selu gives chase and he follows Sarth and his captors through a harrowing speeder chase in Coruscant's under-levels. Eventually, Selu catches up to the kidnappers and, his Jedi skills giving him an advantage, dispatches both of them, but not before uncovering their identities as Mistryl Shadow Guards, who had been after Sarth ever since he had conducted crucial research into the control algorithms of Separatist droideka combat droids.[2]

On Tellanroaeg, Spectre is leading his militia on return from a patrol when he notices a Jedi Knight, slain by clone troopers. He demands an explanation and is informed that Order 66, a contingency order that called for the elimination of the Jedi, has been implemented. Somewhat aghast and suspicious, Spectre confronts his commanding officer, Trip, and verifies the order, but Trip chides him for questioning his commands. Spectre nevertheless proceeds to give the fallen Jedi a proper burial, which further incenses the commander, though he acknowledges that he would have followed the order if it had been confirmed. In response, Trip sends Spectre on an aggressive forward reconnaissance of the Separatist positions, which Spectre feels is a suicide mission. Spectre finds the droids inoperative and decides to investigate the main Separatist base. He finds it surprisingly empty—the droids are all deactivated—and he clears out the remaining Geonosian and Neimodian personnel before the rest of them flee. He reports mission successful to Trip, who tells him that the droid armies have been shut down around the galaxy; the war is over. Spectre is relieved to hear that, but knows that his earlier comments and actions regarding the Jedi have left a black mark on his record that will ruin a career in a peacetime military.[2]

He returns to the main Republic base, but is horrified when the headquarters explodes. Racing into the burning building, he pulls several trapped people out of the wreckage, including Trip, regardless of the risk to his own personal safety. He is commended for his actions, but immediately takes over an investigation into what was clearly a bombing. After narrowing down his list of suspects to people who were near the building, Spectre begins to sort through the suspects for motive and opportunity. Finally, he tricks the guilty party, an embittered militiaman, into revealing himself, and the man is arrested, preventing any further acts of sabotage and Spectre is satisfied that justice has been done.[2]

On Coruscant, Selu finally meets with R'hask Sei'lar and his first mate, Jorgesoll Knrr, and they agree to hire him as a pilot. Also at that time, the ship's new cargomaster, a Human woman from Bakura named Cassi Trealus is introduced to the crew. The Hawk-bat journeys on a cargo run to Bespin and the crew makes a windfall on a cargo of textiles from Coruscant as one of the first ships to reach the mining world after the war. The crew enjoys a fancy dinner in celebration of their profit, and Sarth indicates his attraction to Cassi to Selu, though he admits to being reluctant to approach her. Selu helps his brother along and arranges for Sarth to dance with Cassi. Though he has only recently met the crew of the Hawk-bat and they don't know his true identity, he feels welcomed among them and begins to piece together his shattered life, even though memories of the raid on the Jedi Temple still haunt him.[2]

On their next cargo run to Corellia, the Hawk-bat is attacked by pirates, but Selu and the rest of the crew are able to fend them off with the aid of hidden weaponry installed aboard the freighter. The Corellian Security Force investigates the incident, and the crew are subsequently questioned by Agent Hal Horn. Taking Selu aside, Horn demands to know how they defeated the pirates and Selu uses the Force to sense Horn's level of suspicion; only belatedly does he realize that Horn is Force-sensitive. The agent discerns that Selu is a fugitive Jedi and tells him that he is the son of Corellian Jedi Master Nejaa Halcyon, who married against the precepts of the Jedi Order. Selu shares a memory of Halcyon with the suddenly sympathetic Horn and the agent lets them go free. Reuniting with the crew, Selu joins their company and they continue their career together, plying the spacelanes.[2]

Cover

The cover for Force Exile I: Fugitive was created by Solus from images provided by Atarumaster88, who requested a dark blue background and the appearance of rain, as well a central motif of the burning Jedi Temple. Several characters are pictured as well and they are (from left to right and top to bottom) Plo Koon, Spectre, Anakin Skywalker, Serra Keto, and Selusda Kraen. For the title blocks, Solus used a layout similar to that used for the Legacy of the Force novels, using a dark orange color for the lower banner segment to reflect the flames of war that engulfed the Republic and the Jedi Order.[3]

Development

As he has done with his other novels, Atarumaster88 released the novel in segments of two to three chapters at a time. The first segment was written in early 2007 and posted on Star Wars Fanon in April. Initially, writing was slow, but Atarumaster88 picked up the pace and continued writing over the next few months, finishing the novel in June, a total writing time of about three months.[4] The book went through several drafts of outlines before Atarumaster88 actually wrote it, and the finished plot is considerably different from the earlier revisions. Most notably, a planned storyline involving Kal Skirata and Etain Tur-Mukan was cut for fear of canon conflicts with official books by Karen Traviss. Also, an attack on an airbase by Selu on Boz Pity was cut after it was written (but not yet released), as the author felt it detracted from the story and inflated the character of Selusda Kraen unnecessarily.[5] Further edits were made to the story after reviews by Brandon Rhea, JM76, and an independent consultant, but the vast majority of the novel is the original material that was posted on Star Wars Fanon.[4] At the time of its completion, Force Exile I was the longest completed work on Star Wars Fanon, rating in at 356 kilobytes of content.[1]

Reception

Force Exile I: Fugitive has received largely positive reviews in the limited circles in which it has gained attention, with seventy-five percent of users who answered a poll giving it and the other Force Exile works five stars.[6] Administrator Wayne Lipman III enjoyed the story, but initial reaction was minimal;[3] the novel had yet to achieve prominence in the Star Wars Fanon community. This changed somewhat when Brandon Rhea, another administrator, took notice of the novel and began reading it.[7] Rhea ultimately gave Fugitive four out of five stars, stating that although he had some issues with the work, he praised it over all.[8] Rhea would also later nominate Force Exile I: Fugitive for Best Novel in the Third Wiki Awards, an award which it ultimately won, narrowly beating out Rhea's own Shadows of the Jedi: The Legend of Ussej Padric Bac and Victor Dorantes's Acceptance for the honor.[9] Force Exile I: Fugitive would also later receive a complimentary review from Star Wars Fanon's newsletter[10] and from Jedi Master 76, who stated that he largely enjoyed the novel in his detailed commentary.[8] After each review, Atarumaster88 went back and made any corrections that the reviewers pointed out and he felt were necessary.[1]

Force Exile II: Smuggler

ForceExile2.1

Force Exile II: Smuggler is the sequel to Force Exile I: Fugitive. Weighing in at 193 pages currently, the book is subdivided into seventeen chapters and is considerably more ambitious in scope and structure than Force Exile I. This was largely due to increased confidence and maturity on the part of the author. Atarumaster88 regards each successive Force Exile work as the result of building upon lessons learned in the previous work and Smuggler reflects the experience and growth attained by Atarumaster88 while writing Force Exile I.[1]

Dramatis Personae

Galactic Empire officials

  • Alpha-28 “Spectre”, ARC trooper, Grand Army of the Empire[11]
  • CC-3433 “Trip”, Clone Commander, Grand Army of the Empire[11]
  • Alpha-21 "Twone", ARC trooper, Grand Army of the Empire[11]

Jedi Order

Mistryl Shadow Guards

  • Helsi D'brisse, Mistryl Shadow Guard[11]
  • Firad D'flalden, Mistryl Shadow Guard[11]
  • Sallas D'lisina, Mistryl Shadow Guard[11]
  • Palla D'sephone, Mistryl Matriarch[11]
  • Vena D'uylin, Mistryl Shadow Guard[11]

Other

Sections

To allow a partial release of the novel and to keep the overall page size down, for ease of reading and organization,[1] Atarumaster88 divided Force Exile II: Smuggler into seven sections, which are further subdivided into chapters.[11] The book was originally supposed to be limited to six sections, but Atarumaster88 found that the ending required more space than expected.[1]

Plot

Picking up at the start of 18 BBY, several months after the end of Force Exile I: Fugitive, Smuggler opens with the retirement of Spectre from the now Imperial military. Tired of the military life of the newly formed Empire, Spectre opts to retire; additionally, the black mark on his record prevents him from advancing in rank. Joining up with another retired ARC, Alpha-21 "Twone", Spectre and Twone make their way to the surface of Boz Pity and Twone soon finds them employment with an offworld security company, Durashield Securities. The two of them are then taken to the Durashield Headquarters on Commenor to begin their new civilian jobs.

Elsewhere, it's business as usual for the crew of the Hawk-bat—or so they think. Unbeknownst to the rest of the crew, Jorge and R'hask Sei'lar are ferrying arms for a burgeoning resistance movement on Naboo. Meanwhile, Cassi Trealus and Sarth have slowly been growing the first strands of a relationship between them. In order to distract the crew while the arms are loaded, Sei'lar and Jorge decide to take the Hawk-bat to Sarth's and Selu's homeworld of Commenor and allow Sarth and Selu to visit their parents, Samtel and Lena Kraen, as they are more concerned about the two Kraens discovering their activities than the much more naive Cassi.[11]

Arriving on Commenor, Selu and Sarth head off to visit their parents, who live in the countryside a little ways away from the city of Munto. The reunion between Selu and his parents is joyful, and they reminisce. However, they are being watched by the Mistryl Shadow Guard, who are still after Sarth and his research. A kidnapping attempt is made that very night and although Selu defeats the two attackers, he is badly injured and his identity is in danger of being compromised. His Jedi skills have atrophied from lack of use and the Mistryl are proving themselves to be formidable opponents. Sarth hurriedly makes a call to Captain Sei'lar, who flies the Hawk-bat over to the Kraen residence. Although Selu has received enough medical attention from local paramedics to stabilize his condition, he will need more intense surgery. Sei'lar uses Selu's injuries as pretense for him and Jorge to take the injured man to the famed medcenter on the Mid Rim world of New Holstice, where he plans to meet one of his Naboo contacts, but he leaves Sarth behind, knowing that he will need to be on Commenor for the subsequent investigation into the deaths of the two Mistryl. Cassi volunteers to stay behind with Sarth, easing Sei'lar's and Knrr's minds even further—they hope to protect the rest of the crew from complicity, as well as avoid having their anti-Imperial scheme discovered. Before they leave, Sei'lar contracts his an old friend of his, a Twi'lek named Bwilor, to provide security for the Kraen family. Bwilor owns a private bodyguard company, Durashield Securities, and he agrees to bring a four-man team to guard the Kraens, including Spectre and Twone.[11]

Sarth is relieved that Cassi will be staying with her, but he is concerned for her safety, telling her about the previous Mistryl attack and the danger he is in. Cassi shrugs off the threat, though, saying that she would rather stay and get to know him and his family. She kisses him briefly on the cheek and Sarth begins to realize that she is falling for him just as much as he is falling for her. Meanwhile, local Commenorian law enforcement begins an investigation, led by Detective Annita Daowot, an old acquaintance of Sarth's who was once smitten with him back in their teen years. Sarth attempts to evade her questions, but Daowot is persistent; he eventually agrees to meet her the next day at a restaurant in Munto to discuss the details of the case. About this time, the Durashield Securities team arrives shortly before Sei'lar is set to leave; one of their number has brought Selu from the medcenter to the Hawk-bat. Spectre, alerted by the family name Kraen, recognizes Selu and confronts him aboard the Hawk-bat. Selu also recognized the former ARC and was filled with anger at seeing a clone trooper again. As Spectre entered the Hawk-bat, Selu telekinetically prepares to stab Spectre with his lightsaber, but Spectre isn't interested in a fight. Instead, he tells Selu of his conduct on Tellanroaeg and how he was disgusted by the order to kill the Jedi and how it eventually caused him to leave the military. The two men make up and Selu requests and receives a promise from Spectre to protect his family while he recovers on New Holstice.[11]

The next day, Sarth and Annita meet for lunch to discuss the case, escorted by one of the Durashield bodyguards, a Tunroth named Drelve Tlaleo, and Sarth reluctantly tells Annita about the Mistryl chasing him. However, he does not reveal Selu's true identity, falling back on the pre-arranged story that Selu is "Micor Kraen", a former Republic starfighter pilot and Sarth's cousin. Suddenly, a lone Mistryl brazenly attacks them in broad daylight and they are forced to defend themselves, but eventually they fend her off with Tlaleo's help. Neither Sarth, Annita, or Tlaleo were severely injured, but in the process, Sarth does realize the full extent of Annita's abuse-filled childhood. Years earlier, Sarth had helped Annita out of a bad home situation with the aid of his father, Samtel Kraen, an attorney, but only now does he realize how bad the situation was for her—her back and shoulders are scarred from the beatings.[11]

With the situation rapidly destabilizing, Annita moves all the Kraens and Cassi to a remote safe house, where the Durashield guards can keep close watch on them. The tight quarters are uncomfortable, but they are protected, so the family accedes to the protection. However, the Mistryl have not given up yet-their leader, a determined young warrior named Helsi D'brisse, is fiercely determined to capture Sarth and will stop at nothing to complete her mission. Though plagued with recalcitrant team members, she continues to enjoy anonymity even as the Mistryl try to track down the Kraens.[11]

On New Holstice, Knrr and Sei'lar deliver Selu to the medcenter and then go to meet their contact, Neeves, and deliver the weapons to him so he can help arm the Naboo underground. However, Neeves and his comrades, who are unable to depart for Naboo for a few weeks due to an Imperial embargo on space traffic, confine the two spacers in their hideout as a security precaution. This means that when Selu recovers, he is left with little to do but explore New Holstice. A chance meeting brought him into contact with another Jedi fugitive, Jedi Master Quinlan Vos, who agreed to take Selu in while they wait for Selu's captain to summon him—Sei'lar had left him a message saying and Knrr were off on business.[11]

Selu stays with Vos for about two weeks and picks up his Jedi training again. In the process, they trade stories. Vos was on New Holstice to recover from some injuries as well and he hopes to soon be reunited with his own wife, Khaleen Hentz, but has no way of reaching her hideout on Nar Shaddaa since a Devaronian acquaintance that he was traveling with, Vilmarh Grahrk, abandoned him on New Holstice. Vos also teaches Selu how to hide himself in the Force, an increasingly important skill as the Emperor unleashes his own dark side adepts on the galaxy.[11]

On one occasion, Vos took Selu to a memorial on New Holstice that commemorated the Jedi fallen in the service of the Republic, composed of a large sealed transparent cylinder filled with memory moths that each said the name of a particular Jedi. Vos tests Selu by asking him to slip a datapad inside the memorial and get a hologram recording of the memorial, to preserve its memory, since the Empire plans on destroying it soon. Selu complies and passes the test.[11]

As the Empire finally lifts their embargo, Neeves releases Sei'lar and Jorge and they learn of the violent suppression of the Naboo resistance and the death of Naboo's Queen Apailana. Furthermore, Imperial troops burst into the Naboo hideout before the two spacers can escape and they are trapped. Sei'lar and Knrr gave battle to the Imperial troops, along with the other resistance members, but they are outnumbered and eventually make a run for it. In the process, though, Sei'lar is hit in the leg and collapses to the floor. The rest of the resistance group is killed and Jorge flees in horror, unable to comprehend that he just left his captain to die.[11]

Sensing the disturbance in the Force, Selu and Vos quickly make their way to the scene, finding Jorge despairing. Acting quickly, the two Jedi assault the remaining Imperials in an attempt to save Sei'lar, but it is too late: the Empire has already executed him. The surprised Imperials fall quickly to the blades of Vos and Selu, and the Jedi destroy the hideout with explosives to conceal the evidence, though Selu brings Sei'lar's body with him. With Jorge, he and Vos return to the garden surrounding the Jedi monument, where Selu buries the slain captain. He then cuts the monument open, releasing all the memory moths and preventing the Empire from hunting them down.[11]

They all knew they need to get off of New Holstice and Selu quickly takes charge, volunteering to reconnoiter the Hawk-bat alone first—he has long known how to camouflage himself with the Force and uses that power to conceal his approach. Investigating the ship, Selu finds that people have boarded it without permission and enters cautiously. The first person he meets is an Echani girl named Milya Tayrce, and though they briefly tussle, Milya convinces him that although she is a stowaway, she is not with the thieves trying to steal the freighter. Deciding that her skill in combat is such that she could be useful, Selu lets her help take on the thieves. Together, Selu and Milya handily defeat the ship thieves. In the process, Milya jumps in the way of a poisoned blade meant for Selu, who was forced to reveal his identity as a Jedi Knight. He slays Milya's assailant and then sucks the poison from her wound, saving Milya's life. She kisses him in gratitude, but he still doesn't fully trust her—life on the run has made him suspicious and distrustful.[11]

Knowing that the dead bodies of some of the thieves would draw Imperial attention, Selu comes up with a plan to attack some Imperial forces landed elsewhere in the spaceport as a diversion. He leaves Milya in the spaceport to wait for him to return with Jorge and Vos, but en route to meet with them, he encounters a Devaronian working for the Car'das Syndicate, who somehow knows about his difficulties with the Mistryl. The Devaronian offers to pay him handsomely for smuggling a computer core onto Emberlene, which will shut down the planet's defenses so an allied fleet can persuade the Mistryl to disarm from their war of conquest. Selu doesn't much like the idea, but he accepts it, thinking he could trade the core to the Mistryl for his brother's life.[11]

Selu, Vos, and Milya attack the small Imperial landing force, stealing their ships, while Jorge takes the Hawk-bat into orbit without a hitch. They temporarily disable a patrolling Carrack-class cruiser with their ships and jump to the edge of the system, where Selu, as acting captain since the death of Sei'lar and Jorge's emotional breakdown, invites Milya to join the crew. She agrees to do so and they journey to the Outer Rim world of Nar Shaddaa in search of Vos's wife.[11]

Arriving on Nar Shaddaa, Selu and Vos don't find Khaleen Hentz, but they do find Vilmarh Grahrk, who after a brief confrontation, is coerced into taking Vos to Kashyyyk, where Hentz is hiding. Vos bids Selu farewell, saying that his path lies elsewhere and Selu is left to return to Commenor with Milya and Jorge, having acquired a pair of formerly Imperial starfighters to store in the wingtip cargopods of the Hawk-bat.[11]

On Commenor, the Kraens have been safe for weeks from Mistryl attack thanks to their isolated location. Despite the close quarters, Sarth and Cassi have grown closer and closer together, to the resentment of Annita, who is jealous of Cassi. However, Helsi and her team eventually locate them, as Annita has been unable to track them down. The Mistryl launch a night attack on the safe house and come within a hair's breadth of capturing Selu. Only the heroics of the Durashield Securities guards prevent that from occurring, but casualties are high on both sides. All of the Mistryl but Helsi are slain, while the guards all suffer injuries of varying degree; the worst hit was Twone, who is severely injured. For her part, Helsi journeys into Munto after the failed raid, kidnapping Annita from the Investigator station to use as leverage against Sarth.[11]

Arriving insystem, Selu contacts Sarth, who is at the hospital with the rest of his family and the guards, and is apprised of the situation, but Twone notices that he forgot to remove his lightsaber during the transmission. While Selu is talking, though, Helsi slices into their feed and sends a prerecorded message to Sarth, showing him her hostage: Annita Daowot. Helsi demands that Sarth surrender himself in exchange for Annita's life—and quickly. Everyone viewing the message is horrified, but there is little they can do, as they have no way of tracing Helsi's location. Sarth, to the shock of his parents and Cassi, decides to surrender himself. Meanwhile, Twone pulls Spectre aside and tells him what he noticed—that Selu was still wearing his lightsaber. Twone goes on to correctly guess Selu's next move, but he succumbs to his injuries shortly afterward. Twone's death is a major blow to Spectre, who doesn't take the loss of his companion lightly.[11]

Selu lands and learns from Spectre of Twone's death and Sarth's plan. Though Spectre tells him that Twone had been party to Bairdon Jace's death on Cato Neimoidia, Selu is now able to forgive him, saying that he died defending others, specifically the Kraen family. He then decides to take Sarth's place without telling anyone but Spectre, who had already learned from Twone's accurate guess what Selu's intentions were.[11]

Selu poses as Sarth and brings the computer core to Helsi, who grabs both it and him and takes him onboard her ship. She does divulge Annita's location and Selu passes it on to his friends by means of a comlink before the Mistryl takes him offworld. Spectre, Sarth, and Cassi race to where Annita has been tied up and left to drown at a pond near the Kraen residence. Spectre carefully disarms the booby traps that Helsi left for any rescuers and barely saves Annita from drowning, but by now it is too late to catch Helsi, who has escaped with Selu, not realizing that the man in her cargo hold isn't actually Sarth Kraen.[11]

Helsi's ship links up with another Mistryl vessel and Selu soon meets another scientist recruited to serve the Mistryl, Jenna Zan Arbor, formerly in the employ of the Separatists during the Clone Wars. Zan Arbor doesn't mind working for the expansionistic Mistryl, though. Helsi brings her prizes back to the Mistryl homeworld of Emberlene, where she presents Selu and Zan Arbor to her superior, Mistryl Matriarch Palla D'sephone. In contrast with Zan Arbor's enthusiasm, Selu receives the Matriarch offer of working for the Mistryl coolly.[11]

Meanwhile, on Commenor, the rest of the Hawk-bat crew and the Kraen family learns what Selu has done. Though the rest of them were at first shocked into stunned inactivity, Milya demands to know if any of them are going after Selu. Her resolve convinces Spectre, Sarth, Cassi, and Jorge to go with her in the Hawk-bat to try and snatch Selu. However, though they arrive over Emberlene without incident, their attempt to bluff their way to the surface fails miserably and Mistryl craft pursue them. Harrowed by hostile starfighters, they only escape when an oncoming fleet of warships distracts the Mistryl, having discreetly been signalled by a tracer on the computer core Selu has as soon as it was activated and plugged into the network. In the confusion, the Hawk-bat slips down to the surface of Emberlene, escorted by Milya and Spectre in the pair of starfighters they had picked up on New Holstice.[11]

By now, Selu is in his second audience with the Matriarch and agrees to plug in the computer core, which he claims will reveal all the research she needs to control various types of plundered Separatist hardware. While the core activates, he plays the matriarch in the game of dejarik, at first not realizing that her strategy mirrors the steps the Mistryl have taken to seize him and he responds in exactly the same way that events have transpired over the past several weeks. By the time he notices her plan, there is only move he has left—to move his most powerful piece deep into enemy territory in a desperate gamble, as Selu has actually done with his own life. He makes the move and D'sephone knows she has won.[11]

The Matriarch calls an acolyte forward to deal with him, and the acolyte reveals herself to be the Dark Jedi Asajj Ventress, who joined the Mistryl after disappearing towards the end of the Clone Wars on a promise that she would fight Jedi. Thoroughly unhappy with D'sephone for using her as her personal enforcer, Ventress stabs through D'sephone at Selu with her lightsabers. Selu manages to spring back and retrieve his own lightsabers from a concealed compartment on the computer core and the two duel, though Ventress also cuts down several Mistryl who attack her, including Helsi.[11]

However, Selu is no match for Ventress and after a prolonged duel is brought to his knees. As Ventress closes to deliver the final blow, Sarth, Spectre, and Milya appear, having tricked the Mistryl into providing the coordinates of Selu's location. Though they are no match for Ventress by themselves, Sarth has used a portable form of his droideka code to seize two of the destroyer droids and they are enough to force Ventress to flee. As they reach Selu, he informs them of the computer core, which has almost finished its countdown to allegedly shutting down the Mistryl's planetary defenses. Sarth examines it and is horrified to find that it is no computer core—it is actually a fission bomb. They quickly bring Selu back onto the Hawk-bat and blast off as the bomb detonates. The resulting explosion does indeed bring down the Mistryl defenses, but also kills thousands and the devastation he has wrought burns through Selu emotionally. Although his wounds are not mortal, he slowly loses the will to live. It is then that Milya steps in. Recognizing the internal struggle he experiences, she tells him that he needed to live, that the trauma to his spirit would heal in time. With the rest of the crew supporting her, Selu is convinced and once again seeks to keep living.[11]

After returning to Commenor, Selu takes some time to recover from the physical injuries he has suffered in the fight against Ventress. After he heals, he joins his family and the crew of the Hawk-bat in a Munto restaurant for a happy reunion. Though Selu fully expects Jorge to take over as captain, the Corellian has lost all interest in space flight since the death of his friend and the rest of the crew unanimously selects Selu as captain, to his surprise. Jorge tells him that he plans on settling down on Commenor and opening a tapcafe, but he bids his friends farewell even as he begins to flirt with Annita Daowot, who has not only been let in on the secret of Selu's identity, but has made things up with Cassi, realizing that Sarth was only ever hers in her dreams. Once he recovers from the surprise, Selu agrees to serve as captain, and with Sarth, Milya, Cassi, and Spectre as crew, flies the Hawk-bat to the Outer Rim. The devastation from the bomb and the ensuing attacks by the hostile fleet have ended any threat of Mistryl pursuit, but Selu knows that their brash actions off New Holstice will have consequences; the Hawk-bat will now have to fly more on the wrong side of the law to avoid being traced. His first stop is meet with renowned mechanic Doc Vandangante, who Selu buys a pair of starfighters from to replace the two lost on Emberlene. Though life won't be the same as it was before for the crew of the Hawk-bat, harmony has returned to their lives, even as they adjust to new crewmembers, a new captain, and a new way of life.[11]

Cover

The cover for Force Exile I: Fugitive was created by Solus from images provided by Atarumaster88. The characters picture are (from left to right and top to bottom) R'hask Sei'lar, Helsi D'brisse, Quinlan Vos, Cassi Trealus, Annita Daowot, and Selusda Kraen. Solus used a reddish background for the cover, again applying the same style of title block as he had done for the Fugitive cover.[7]The cover differed from Fugitive by being the first to include figures who were not part of the official Star Wars canon in the form of Annita Daowot and Cassi Trealus, both of whom are portrayed by actresses in non-Star Wars movies.[12]

Development

Atarumaster88 started constructing the production outline of Force Exile II: Smuggler shortly after finishing Force Exile I: Fugitive.[1] The first segment was released in June 2007 and the next few sections followed quickly, with the final version appearing on Star Wars Fanon in November 2007, a total writing time of approximately six months.[13] The book originally had much different subject matter in earlier drafts—much of what became Force Exile III: Liberator was once labeled as Force Exile II. The basis for the final draft was created when the Mistryl were introduced in Force Exile I. A particular influence on the story was a real-world consultant specializing in forensics who became the inspiration and character model for Commenorian Investigator Annita Daowot. This consultant helped provide background information on things such as the type of physical trauma caused by various injuries, and Atarumaster88 based the character's likeness and name off of this person.[12][1] Few major edits have been made to Smuggler since its completion,[13] even after review by an independent consultant. When it was finished, Force Exile II handily surpassed Force Exile I as the longest completed work on the Star Wars Fanon wiki, rating in at 570 kilobytes of content.[1]

Reception

Force Exile II: Smuggler has yet to achieve the same level of critical attention, much less recognition that its predecessor has.[14] It was nominated for Best Novel in the Third Wiki Awards but garnered no votes, losing out to Force Exile I: Fugitive.[9] However, when reviewed by Jedi Master 76, Smuggler was given a complimentary review and said to be "better than Fugitive" on several counts, though he had some concerns over some of the character interactions.[15] Afterward, Atarumaster88 went back and made corrections based on Jedi Master 76's review and which he felt were necessary.[1]

Force Exile III: Liberator

FEIIILiberator

The conclusion to the first trilogy of Force Exile novels, Force Exile III: Liberator is also the longest and most complex, with a total number of 295 pages split into twenty-one chapters and a word count of 151,000. As such, it took the longest to write of the three books and underwent the most drafting changes, especially the final third of the book.[1] In particular, a canon conflict caused a planned scene to be dropped and others removed.[16] The title also underwent several different changes before "Liberator" was chosen.[1]

Dramatis Personae

Galactic Empire officials

Other

  • Hasla Almani, Matukai trainee[17]
  • Jahlel Almani, Matukai Adept[17]
  • Daara, Zeison Sha warrior[17]
  • Annita Daowot, Commenor Investigator[17]
  • Erudis Frelix, Jal Shey Mentor[17]
  • Bolfwé Grysloth, Matukai Templar[17]
  • Jorgesoll Knrr, Restaurateur[17]
  • Lena Kraen, Teacher[17]
  • Samtel Kraen, Attorney[17]
  • Sarth Kraen, Crewmember[17]
  • Selusda Kraen, Ship captain[17]
  • Olno Mada, Zeison Sha Councilor[17]
  • Sulan'bask, Pirate leader[17]
  • S’vollke, Jal Shey Warden[17]
  • Milya Tayrce, Crewmember[17]
  • Cassi Trealus, Crewmember[17]
  • Xlora, Matukai trainee[17]

Sections

To allow a partial release of the novel and to keep the overall page size down, for ease of reading and organization,[1] Atarumaster88 divided Force Exile III: Liberator into nine sections, which are further subdivided into chapters.[17] The number of sections fluctuated throughout development, ranging from six to ten.[1]

Plot

Force Exile III: Liberator opens on the Victory-class Star Destroyer Corrupter, an Imperial warship freshly assigned a new captain, Jack Nebulax.[18] Nebulax is far from pleased with his new command and its crew, particularly his new first officer, Lieutenant Ait Convarion and is even less happy about his new mission: to ferry around an Inquisitor named Ajaur on a Jedi-hunting mission. To make matters worse for Nebulax, Ajaur is openly condescending towards him and Nebulax is told that this mission could last indefinitely. With little other choice, Nebulax places the Corrupter at Ajaur's disposal.[17]

Elsewhere, Imperial Lieutenant Almos Terthbak takes command of a scout ship, the Observant. The officious Terthbak is a newcomer to the scout service, though, and his more experienced crew almost immediately develops a lack of respect for their captain. Nevertheless, Terthbak gets the Observant underway on a mission to sniff out the Jedi Knights on remote worlds throughout the Empire as the Emperor cracks down on the last remaining remnants of the Jedi Order.[17]

Concurrently, Selusda Kraen is still serving as the captain of the Hawk-bat. Recently, though, his past has come back to haunt him as strange visions from the Force plague him and he has become more withdrawn. He does help break up some of the tension between Spectre and Milya—their opposite martial philosophies have caused them to clash repeatedly—and Selu encourages them to work together instead of against one another. Milya notices his moodiness, though, and discerns that guilt from Emberlene still troubles him. Meanwhile, Sarth and Cassi have continued and deepened the relationship they began a year earlier, to the point where Sarth is working the nerve up to ask Cassi to marry him. Before he can do so, though, Selu calls the entire crew to their stations.[17]

An Imperial warship, the Corrupter, is closing in on them and Selu wants to be cautious—the Hawk-bat is carrying a cargo of explosives to insurgents on the nearby world of Zhar and he has no desire to be caught with that by an Imperial boarding team. Selu turns tail and begins fleeing the planet's gravity well and Convarion grows suspicious. Nebulax joins him on the Corrupter's bridge and receives an order from Ajaur to board the Hawk-bat. The Inquisitor has detected a disturbance in the Force emanating from the freighter, namely Selu, and wishes to investigate it for himself. As the Hawk-bat pulls away, Nebulax sends fighters after him. Though the crew of the Hawk-bat defeats two of the four starfighters, the delay is enough for Corrupter to lock a tractor beam onto them. Selu quickly loads as much of their illegal cargo of detonite as he and the crew can manage into an escape pod and fired it off towards Corrupter. As he expects, the Imperials disable the pod with an ion cannon and tractor beam it as well. When it is close enough, Selu arms a hidden proton torpedo launcher and fires a torpedo at the pod. The resulting detonation inflicts enough damage to break the tractor beam lock and the Hawk-bat races away. The Corrupter pursues, shooting to kill, and Selu make a blind jump to hyperspace to escape the Imperial vessel.[17]

Over on Commenor, Jorgesoll Knrr meets with his fiancé, Annita Daowot, at his restaurant, Jorge's Folly. The last year has seen them go through a whirlwind courtship—both of them young, lonely, and with things in the past they'd rather forget, they quickly bonded. There is some gray area in their relationship due to the shady nature of some of Jorge's clientele, but Annita and Jorge have an understanding to not discuss certain things. Annita doesn't ask about Jorge's clients unless they commit a felony and he doesn't pry into law enforcement matters. Annita is a rising star in the Munto Investigator Department and Jorge has no desire to damage her career in anyway. They chat about wedding plans and things—though the wedding is several months away, there are lots of details to plan. They enjoy their time together, but it ends on a sour note as Annita leaves the tapcafe and encounters the new Imperial liaison officer to the Commenorian Investigators, Captain Norres. Norres knows far too much about her personal life to make Annita happy and she resents his prying, rapidly growing suspicious of the man.[17]

The next day, Annita enters her office to find Norres seated at her desk. He asks her several questions about the Mistryl incident and though she answers his questions without giving anything about Selu away, Norres is not quite satisfied and resolves to dig into the case further. The experience rattles Annita's nerves and she seeks comfort from Jorge later that day, who is both outraged and concerned. Annita, having calmed down by then, assures him that Norres was probably just trying to upset her, but he is not convinced.[17]

On the Corrupter, Nebulax and Ajaur are far from happy about the Hawk-bat's escape, but there is nothing they can do about it. Furthermore, Ajaur forgets about the freighter when Darth Vader sends him to the remote moon of Susefvi to stamp out a cult of Force users. Nebulax resents being brusquely ordered around by Ajaur when told to change course, but the mere mention of Darth Vader brings instant obedience from the naval officer. The Corrupter journeys to Susefvi where Ajaur, Convarion, and a complement of ground troops make short work of all resistance, with the Imperial soldiers seizing the moon while Ajaur deals with the Jensaarai, a group of Force-sensitive warriors. He carves through them with ease, slaying them all, down to the younglings, but one of them prophesies his imminent death before Ajaur finishes the child off.[17]

When the Hawk-bat reverts from hyperspace, the crew finds themselves stranded somewhere in Wild Space in need of repairs. Selu detects a nearby world and the ship limps over to set down on there, but as they approach, he detects an unusual sensation in the Force emanating from the planet. Setting the ship down in a sizable crater, he and Sarth work on repairing the ship, but the growing sensation in the Force keeps bothering Selu. He eventually pinpoints it as coming from a crevice in the crater floor and resolves to investigate—alone. The rest of the crew insist upon coming with him, though, and Selu has no choice but to let them accompany him. Before they leave, though, Sarth has an announcement to make. Dropping to one knee, he asks Cassi to marry him and she accepts, to the excitement of everyone. Despite this momentous decision, though, Sarth and Cassi both decide on accompanying the rest of the crew into the crevice.[17]

Working their way down the rocks, the five crewmembers slowly descend into the crevice. After a harrowing fall nearly costs them their lives, they finally reach the bottom, where Selu senses a Force nexus nearby. Finding a hidden passageway concealed by a Force illusion, Selu and the others follows the subterranean passageway, which leads them to a hidden crater with a tower rising from it. The crater and the tower are surprisingly strong in the Force, but apparently, they are also camouflaged by Force illusions, as the crew hadn't noticed them from orbit. Furthermore, the illusions also have some effect over matter, as there is breathable atmosphere contained inside the illusion. Approaching the tower with weapons at the ready, they are surprised by the sudden appearance of eleven apparitions, spirits of Jedi who lived there millennia earlier. Selu is in awe as he recognizes one of them as Revan, the Jedi who ended the Jedi Civil War and another as Srynassa Valaris, the exiled Jedi who defeated the Sith triumvirate. Their companions are also notable Jedi from that era. Revan, Valaris, and their companions invite Selu and the other crewmembers in, claiming they need to speak with them about matters of great importance and so they enter the mysterious tower.[17]

Meanwhile, Almos Terthbak is slowly coming to realize how monotonous his mission is and how much the crew disrespects him. As planet after planet turns up empty of what they seek, he grows increasingly despondent. This changes when the Observant reaches the orbit of the planet Erediss. They discover the ruins of an old Jedi starfighter and Terthbak, along with the sensor officer, Sandy Neach, suit up to pull the Jedi corpse into the cargo hold while they attach the starfighter to their hull for later investigation. Though another member of the crew and the only woman, Terena Jasnan has no particular respect for Terthbak, his willingness to follow orders and handle the rather disgusting job of moving the partially rotted corpse impresses her; she even volunteers to help him, to the surprise of her fellow crewmembers, who have little but disgust for Terthbak, who they see as pompous and dimwitted.[17]

Inside the tower, the Jedi spirits show the Hawk-bat crew to surprisingly comfortable quarters, with amenities powered and sustained by the Force and food grown in hydroponic gardens. Selu confronts Revan and asks for some answers and while he receives little but a cryptic vision of the past, the spirit does tell him that he will receive answers later, in a place he calls the Room of the Crystal Heart.[17]

Once they are gathered in the Room of the Crystal Heart, the spirits answer the crew's questions about the nature of the tower, telling them that its creators imbued the structure with the Force and the Jedi have been watching each of the Hawk-bat's crew for many years after receiving premonitions of their identities from the Force. The Jedi apparitions prove this to the crew by showing each of them a vision from their pasts, except Cassi, who already believes them. Instead, she is shown a vision of a possible future, one filled with joy. The spirits then explain the reason for the Force nexus here by placing a vivid experience of the ancient Battle of Narokgar in their minds, where Revan and Srynassa had defeated the tides of the ancient Sith millennia earlier, at the cost of Srynassa's life. Revan then says that he and his companions, upon death, were not allowed pass into the next realm; they were needed to wait to instruct the five people in a time of trial for the Jedi. Those five were prophesied to lead "those of the Force out of the night." After thinking about it for years, Revan and his companions believe that Selu and his crew are the five they have been waiting for: a leader, a warrior, a healer, a thinker, and a seer, brought to this remote world by the will of the Force. The Force energy stored inside the tower is waiting for those five to come and take up their destiny, Revan says, and it can be poured into them if they are willing. While most of the crew is more or less convinced of their roles—Sarth as the thinker, Cassi as healer, Spectre as the warrior, and Milya as the seer, Selu is utterly unable to accept the role of leader, feeling that his past errors will lead him to make another grievous mistake. He storms off and Revan warns them that only in unity can all five of them make this decision, and it is a momentous one. To be filled with the Force is not something to be taken lightly, he advises.[17]

Knowing that they have to convince Selu if they are going to fulfill the prophecy and save what they presume are fugitive Jedi, the crew resolves to speak with him, but Milya decides to meet Selu alone. Since meeting him, she has felt a mental connection with him and believes she understands him better than anyone else, having gone through just as much abandonment and hardship as he has. She talks with him and Selu tells her that she can never understand and she asks him to show her with a Force meld. Selu is initially reluctant—to do so would be to render their minds fully transparent to each other and could possibly be harmful to Milya. She persists and they join minds, but Milya experiences the dark emotions and feelings inside Selu and though she is horrified, she sees the strength and character in him also. By telling him that he is needed, that he's the only one who can lead them, Milya manages to convince Selu to join them. However, Selu also realizes that to take up this destiny is to become a tool of the Force, and he will have to put behind all the inklings of a romantic relationship with Milya that have been floating through his mind. He returns to the others in the Room of the Crystal Heart and they unlock the reserves of Force energy that have been stored in the tower for millennia. The result is an effective doubling of their innate Force-sensitivity, according to their pre-existing skills, as the Force is imbued in each of them.[17]

Elsewhere, the Observant investigates the world of Haruun Kal and detects the Force-sensitivity of the native Korunnai people. Terthbak passes on this report and speaks directly to Darth Vader, which absolutely terrifies him. Vader thanks him for passing on the news and orders Terthbak to continue with his mission. The lieutenant complies, but is shaken up. Jasnan, hoping to loosen the uptight officer's demeanour, seduces him with ease, as part of a plan to make ship life with Terthbak bearable. Her actions shock the other crewmembers, particularly the sarcastic gunner, Marsden Royner, who fancies himself attracted to her as well. She sleeps with Terthbak, but little overall effect is had on Terthbak's demeanor.[17]

For the next several months, Selu and his companions train under the Jedi spirits, though Selu also instructs his companions in the ways of the Force, passing on lessons he learned from the Jedi Masters in his youth. As they train, Sarth and Cassi spend a lot of time together and likewise Spectre and Milya, both with martial backgrounds, overcome their differences to work together. This leaves Selu removed from the others and once again his past begins to haunt him; isolating himself somewhat emotionally from the others has left him unsupported and vulnerable to fear. A dark side premonition nearly convinces him to commit suicide and then destroy the bubble that contains air in the crater, but Revan catches him first, admonishing him sternly. Revan tells him that he needs to let go of himself and embrace the will of the Force and Selu complies, starting on the road to overcoming his own insecurities, but his emotional isolation still costs him the support of the others.[17]

As Selu has become more and more aloof, Spectre has found himself growing attracted to Milya. The time they have spent together, working as a team, has convinced him that, for once, he stands a chance in a relationship with her. On her twentieth birthday, he takes her for a hike around the crater and, when they are alone, gives her a diamond for use in the lightsabers they will soon be constructing and she kisses him on the cheek in return. Milya mostly views Spectre as a comrade, but the seeds of something more have planted, especially given Selu's isolation from her particularly. Little do either of them know that Selu has witnessed the entire exchange and Milya only discovers a similar gift from Selu upon returning to her quarters, where he had placed it earlier in the day.[17]

Across the galaxy on the world of Cato Neimoidia, Kinman Doriana, a personal advisor to the Emperor, lands and meets with an Imperial officer, who had submitted an urgent request to the government to send someone to handle a delicate situation. Doriana is surprised to find that the officer is a clone, CC-3433 "Trip", but when Trip shows him the treasure trove he and his men have uncovered while battling Neimoidian insurgents, Doriana is visibly impressed. The troopers have found a series of Neimoidian data cores—information on old Confederacy weapons caches, contacts, and facilities, as well three thousand Xi Charrian prisoners, all skilled engineers and craftsmen. While his original mission was to conduct a prototype transport, the Griffin, and a sensitive cargo of Jedi relics to Palpatine's storehouse on Wayland, Doriana decides to bring the Xi Charrians and the data cores with him, the former to be delivered to the First Death Star construction site and the latter for delivery to Wayland. He also brings Trip and a small contingent of hand-picked troopers along, intending to recommend the trooper for a handsome promotion once the mission is completed. However, due to the need for secrecy, the transfer of personnel and cargo to the Griffin goes slowly, a development which Doriana does not like.[17]

On the Corrupter, Captain Nebulax has been allowed to conduct anti-piracy missions as a secondary objective to Ajaur's mission. He tackles this assignment with relish, leading the Corrupter to battle with a group of pirates in a remote asteroid field. Though outgunned, Nebulax's skill is sufficient that he is able to defeat the pirates by destroying their largest vessel and their base, though a few ships escape. The Corrupter takes some damage, but nothing crippling and Nebulax even earns the grudging respect of Ajaur and Convarion for his conduct.[17]

Shortly after this, Doriana's ship is attacked by pirates, remnants of the group Nebulax defeated, and though the attack is beaten off, the Griffin is damaged rather badly, enough to delay their transit for a few weeks. This infuriates Doriana, who orders an increased escort, but there is little he can do to speed up the progress if the trip is to be kept under wraps. Still, he fears the Emperor's wrath should this assignment drag on for much longer, particularly when Darth Vader signals the Griffin and asks Doriana about the delay. Doriana deflects the blame onto the ship's captain and Vader speaks with him via HoloNet. Vader informs the commander of his impending death and the captain takes his own life, but that leaves the already under-crewed Griffin without an experienced naval officer in charge of it.[17]

A few weeks after Milya's birthday, the five crewmembers have reached the final step of their training: creating their new lightsabers. They each build their own unique weapons in three days; Revan has warned them that timing has become critical. Once the lightsabers are built, they test out their new weapons—though they have practiced with old ones that Selu had, this is their first time to use their own hand-built lightsabers. Selu calls for a training session, but pits everyone else against himself, albeit with the lightsabers set on a non-lethal training setting. To their surprise, Selu defeats all four of them handily and warns them that unless they can work together as a focused team, they will all fall in the same way. However, at that point, Revan arrives and informs them of approaching danger. Milya stretches out her senses and detects an incoming Imperial scout ship, the Observant, and they quickly board the Hawk-bat to intercept the Imperial vessel before it can detect and report the nexus around Revan's tower. Before they leave, Revan tells them that they must convince three separate groups of Force-users, the Zeison Sha, the Matukai, and the Jal Shey to unite, or they will be destroyed.[17]

The Hawk-bat, aided by Selu's powers of Force concealment and the sensor-fogging nature of the nebula that they are in, takes the Observant by surprise and it is quickly boarded with no loss of life. Selu, wearing Revan's ancient armor, imprisons the Imperials in the cargo hold, but the crew realizes they must split up if they are to reach all three groups of Force users. Milya's foresight, along with a captured itinerary from the Observant's logs reveals the locations of the three groups and they part ways. Each party must convince their respective group that the only chance of surviving the Empire's purge is to join together in a refuge that Selu plans on establishing—though he doesn't know where yet. Selu and Spectre, despite the tension between them, are sent to the militaristic Zeison Sha in the Observant, while Sarth and Cassi take the Hawk-bat and journey to the Jal Shey, a group known for their intellectual and philosophical prowess. That leaves Milya to take the derelict Jedi starfighter recovered by the Observant and go to the Matukai by herself.[17]

Sarth and Casi reach the Jal Shey successfully on the remote world of Tokmia and they are welcomed, though the Jal Shey take several days to consider their initial warning and offer to join with other Force-users. Eventually, they are summoned to a council of all the adult Jal Shey, who listen to them intently, but ultimately are not swayed by their words. Instead, the Jal Shey placed them under the rite of Gnissom maze, a test that requires them to interpret a complicated puzzle made of metal pieces and that has been used in this way by the Jal Shey for centuries with great success. Although it takes them three days, Sarth and Cassi realize that only with both of them working together, their strengths complimenting one another, can they solve the puzzle. They work down to the last moment and successfully solve the Gnissom maz; the Jal Shey then agree to join with the other Force-users, loading all their adherents onto an aged but serviceable GR-75 medium transport. Sarth takes them to a rendezvous point in the nearby Hoth system, a desolate place where no one will look for them and, signaling Selu, waits for him to arrive.[17]

For her part, Milya journeys to the humid world of Darlyn Boda, but is accosted by thugs while in the slums of the city of Darlyn Boda. An Arkanian Matukai named Jahlel Almani rescues her and he takes her back to the Matukai enclave deep in a swamp. Upon meeting their leader, Bolfwé Grysloth, Milya presents her message and Grysloth promises to consider it, but only if Milya stays and learns how the Matukai live while he decides. However, one of the thugs survives and contacts the local garrison, and word of a Jedi on Darlyn Boda reaches Ajaur on the Corrupter. The Inquisitor immediately orders the Star Destroyer to set course for Darlyn Boda. [17]

On Yanibar, the Zeison Sha homeworld, Selusda Kraen and Spectre make slow progress through the hostile terrain, and the presence of an Imperial garrison doesn't help. They receive a break when they rescue a Zeison Sha warrior, Daara, from pursuing Imperials, and she takes them back to a hidden enclave, where she introduces them to its leader and her adopted father, Olno Mada. The Zeison Sha leader is naturally suspicious of Jedi—the Zeison Sha have long distanced themselves from the Jedi—but he comes to believe them over the next few days, especially when Selu and Spectre mention their connection to Revan, the last Jedi whom the Zeison Sha have any respect for. Olno Mada, finally convinced, calls a meeting of the Zeison Sha settlement leaders, and Selu presents his case to their elders. Once again, it is an uphill battle to sway the suspicious Zeison Sha, but his ties with Revan are enough that the Zeison Sha agree not only to unite with the other Force users, but also allow the refuge to be set up on Yanibar—provided Selu drives the Empire from Yanibar first.[17]

Selu and Spectre, unsure of how to deal with the small but still formidable Imperial garrison, take the Observant up for a scouting run. However, when Spectre asks Selu about Milya and indicates his interest, the slowly mounting tensions between the two men overflow and they come to blows. Meanwhile, though initially the Imperial crew made few escape attempts from the hold they were confined to, Terena Jasnan remembers the lightsaber they recovered from the Jedi corpse months earlier. Terthbak, who has finally managed to relax his officiousness, uses the Jedi weapon to cut them out and the Imperials retrieve blasters and storm the bridge, where Selu and Spectre are grappling. Spectre sees the Imperials coming and takes a blaster bolt for Selu, who instantly forgets his fight with Spectre and disarms all the Imperials with the full force of his Jedi powers. Both men instantly regret their fighting, and though Spectre will recover, Selu only narrowly stops himself from killing the Imperials. Instead, he locks them back up and confiscates the lightsaber. Landing the ship, he receives a premonition that Milya is in danger and decides to journey to Darlyn Boda to aid her and Spectre insists on coming along, saying he can heal on the way. Promising Daara and Olno Mada they will return, Selu and Spectre depart.[17]

On Darlyn Boda, Milya realizes that Grysloth is taking too long to make up his mind and challenges him to a duel that will decide the fate of the Matukai. As expected, her skills are no match for his mastery of the Matukai weapon, the wan-shen, but she never intended to win. As she falls, first Jahlel and then his sister Hasla run to her aid, trying to hold off Grysloth, but they are unsuccessful. At that point, Milya explains that only united could they have stood a chance against Grysloth; just as only united can the three groups of Force users weather the storm of the Empire. Seeing her point, Grysloth concedes the duel and Milya is victorious, albeit with significant bodily harm. The Matukai begin packing their belongings, but before they can flee, the Corrupter arrives in orbit and Ajaur leads a full-scale assault on their compound. He pushes through the Matukai despite heavy losses and personally kills Grysloth. Shocked, Milya duels him with her lightsaber, but she sees Imperial reinforcements arriving and disengages from the Inquisitor. The remaining Matukai flee, and the timely arrival of Selu, Spectre, and Daara in the Observant, which slipped past the Corrupter in orbit, allows a handful of them an avenue of escape. However, in her flight, Milya is knocked down by an explosion. Seeing that an Imperial blaster bolt is about to hit her, Jahlel steps in and takes the bolt for her. He dies, and only Selu's quick rescue of Milya saves her; she is too shocked by death of Jahlel. They escape Darlyn Boda, once again evading the Corrupter, but Selu is concerned, as Ajaur now knows what he is up against.[17]

By this time, Selu has received Sarth's message and they set course for the Hoth system to link up with the Hawk-bat. En route, Selu tries to comfort Milya over the loss of so many Matukai. Feeling grateful and open to him, Milya offers him the prospect of physical intimacy, but he turns her down, knowing her emotions are skewed and that he needs to avoid a relationship with her. While on Yanibar, Selu learned that, if he was the prophesied leader, the one he loves must be pierced and so he decides to simply not love, for pragmatic reasons rather than out of adherence to Jedi precepts against attachment, which Revan discouraged anyway.[17]

On Commenor, as the date for her wedding draws near, Annita Daowot can hardly wait, but when she and Jorge return to her apartment after a date, she discovers listening devices hidden in her apartment. She instantly realizes that Norres is trying to track her and she and Jorge decide to leave Commenor—but Annita insists that it is after the wedding. Still, the mounting suspicion is worrisome, as is the fact that the crew of the Hawk-bat has been missing for over eight months.[17]

At the same time, the Griffin, finally en route to the Death Star, drops out of hyperspace in the Hoth system for a routine navigation check, only to be set upon by the newly replenished pirates, who have been tracking them. Their escort is quickly defeated and the Griffin is boarded. Trip and his soldiers put up a fierce defense, but they are outnumbered and repel them only with heavy casualties. The crew calls for help and the Corrupter soon arrives from Darlyn Boda. As the Imperial warship converges on the pirates, the Observant reverts from hyperspace and Selu is convinced it is a trap. He tells Sarth to take the Jal Shey ahead to Yanibar while he evades the Corrupter by flying through the battle. Sarth sends the Jal Shey ahead, but takes the Hawk-bat and follows Selu into the fray. Nebulax notices the two ships, but his priorities are protecting the Griffin. As such, the Corrupter gives battle to the pirates. In the fight, though, the Observant sustains damage to its hyperdrive, stranding Selu, Spectre, Milya, Daara, and the Matukai. With little other option and seeing that the Griffin has already been boarded, Selu lands the Observant in its hangars in a bold attempt to seize the transport. Sarth follows and the five crewmembers, accompanied by Daara and some of the Matukai, advance through the embattled Griffin. They seize the ship's bridge, but Milya falls back to deal with a group of clone troopers, including Trip. She defeats them all, but Trip himself is able to take her down. Before he can kill her, though, Spectre confronts him and the two battle. At this point, Spectre finally realizes that his future is no longer with the clones and the Imperial Army, but rather with the Force exiles, and he kills Trip to save Milya.[17]

After Selu uses the Griffin to help the now-desperate pirate group, Nebulax realizes he is being double-teamed. Concentrating fire on the pirate ships, he annihilates their forces, but the pirate leader self-destructs his ship near the Corrupter, crippling the vessel and allowing the Griffin to escape. In gratitude, the pirate also passes on information on a weapons cache to Selu before he dies. As the Griffin prepares to jump to hyperspace, Selu comes across Kinman Doriana. Doriana, persuasive as ever, tries to convince Selu to join the Empire, promising him power and fame, but Selu ultimately rejects his offer. Taking all the Imperial prisoners from the Griffin, as well as the crew of the Observant, he orders them into escape pods and jettisons them before the Griffin jumps to hyperspace, bound for Yanibar.[17]

Over Yanibar, Selu takes the Hawk-bat and demands the Imperial garrison surrender. They refuse, and he orders the orbital bombardment of the outpost by the Griffin. The resulting fire completely destroys the Imperial forces, fulfilling his promise to the Zeison Sha. However, while the Matukai, Jal Shey, and Zeison Sha meet one another, Selu learns of the Xi Charrian prisoners and the Jedi relics on the Griffin. He releases the prisoners, hoping they will stay on Yanibar as well, and goes to explore the Jedi artifacts. Before he can do so, though, a belated message from Annita and Jorge arrives, telling them of the impending wedding. As such, the crew of the Hawk-bat and Daara board the ship and flies back to Commenor for the event.[17]

However, on the Corrupter, between Doriana, Terthbak, Nebulax, and Convarion, Ajaur learns enough about the mysterious Jedi he has been tracking to have a last name. When a notice from a Captain Norres arrives regarding a Kraen family on Commenor, it is the final piece of the puzzle. Since the Corrupter is damaged, Ajaur takes a small shuttle and Doriana accompanies him, hoping to reclaim the Griffin or at least make some recompense in the eyes of the Emperor by hunting down a Jedi Knight.[17]

Annita's wedding starts smoothly enough, and all of her friends are present to share the occasion with her. However, Norres and a group of Imperials interrupt the ceremony, intent on arresting Annita for treason. The Jedi, save Spectre, interpose themselves between the wedding party and the Imperials, as they had planned earlier in case of Imperial entanglements. They didn't plan on Ajaur though, and soon, the ceremony is turned into a brawl as Ajaur crashes through a window to duel Selu. The other Jedi evacuate the wedding party while sympathetic spacers pour fire down at the Imperial forces, but Doriana has called for massive reinforcements from the local army garrison.[17]

Annita and Jorge kill Norres and Selu defeats Ajaur, but leaves the Inquisitor alive. Meanwhile, Spectre brings the Hawk-bat in and strafes the Imperial forces, scattering them. He sets the ship down to evacuate his friends and they run towards it. At the moment, Ajaur rises again and pierces Milya with a knife, but Selu throws him back with the Force, defending her from Ajaur's subsequent attempt to Force crush her. Spectre guns him down, but Milya is badly injured. Selu calls upon the Force and, due to his mental bond with Milya and love for her, is able to save her life. They escape on the Hawk-bat, bringing the friendly spacers, Annita, Jorge, and the elder Kraens with them, returning to Yanibar, but not before Doriana is slain by cannon fire from the Hawk-bat. However, because he has chosen the path of love and attachment, Selu knows he can never fully commit himself to fighting the Sith. Furthermore, the prophecy he learned from Revan warned him that any confrontation with the Sith would end in utter disaster if he did not leave all other attachments behind. To save Milya, Selu sacrifices his opportunity to lead a movement against the Empire. Instead, he must now build the refuge for the Force exiles and bide his time.[17]

Returning to Yanibar, Annita and Jorge and Cassi and Sarth are married by Olno Mada, and Selu finds that a new unified government and new combined settlement are being planned. He is named the head of the entire colony's defense forces, dubbed the Yanibar Guard, and in turn places Milya over intelligence and Spectre over the land forces. Sarth, working with the Xi Charrians, sets up plans to recover weapons from the Separatist arms caches they learn of and sell some of them while improving upon others as part of a new arms business, Kraechar Arms. His designs are aided by the fact that the Griffin is actually a prototype factory ship equipped with molecular furnaces. For their part, Annita and Jorge decide to leave for Bespin, to set up a shipping company that, besides legitimate business, will help funnel supplies to the colony. It is the dawn of a new era for them, and Selu knows he has accepted a life-long commitment to protect the colony. Therefore, one of his first actions is to cast a permanent Force illusion over the entire colony, shielding them from view and hostile sensors. Selu has finally found peace and a place to call home, and with Milya reciprocating his feelings, begins a relationship with the woman he loves. While an Imperial scout ship, again led by a now affable Almos Terthbak, flies over Yanibar, they find nothing but a destroyed garrison and a faked message. The message tells them that a horrible plague broke out on the world and while the troops there had destroyed the garrison and tried to flee, the plague had spread among them and they had self-destructed their ships rather than carry the disease. Believing the message, Terthbak departs, marking the planet as uninhabitable and quarantined and ending the threat of Imperial encroachment on Yanibar.[17]

Cover

Atarumaster88 had originally arranged with Solus to provide the cover for Force Exile III and provided her with the necessary images and layout. Solus got as far as producing a first draft before deciding that she would be unable to complete the cover. With the departure of Solus, Atarumaster88 arranged with Darth Nyne to take over in providing the Force Exile III cover.[19] The result was a design similar to the original layout employed by Solus but deliberately left with some differences to differentiate the works.[17] The cover depicts both recurring and new Force Exile characters, who are (from left to right and from top to bottom) Milya Tayrce, Sarth Kraen, Darth Vader, Selu Kraen, Kinman Doriana, Revan, and Daara.[17] As with the Force Exile II cover, a person from outside the Star Wars canon portrays one of the Force Exile characters, with Jessica Alba cast as Milya Tayrce. Alba was not Atarumaster88's first choice for the role, but as his original choice was only pictured in a comic, he felt it would be stylistically and visually more appealing to use a live person on the cover.[16]

Development

After the completion of Force Exile II: Smuggler, Atarumaster88 began working on Force Exile III: Liberator. The novel encountered several drafting issues and seemed to grow larger with each draft, exceeding Atarumaster88's expectations. Concerned about pacing and a canon conflict with Children of the Jedi, he cut several scenes. In particular, the final third of the book was re-outlined three times during the writing process.[1] Despite being these difficulties and being considerably longer than Force Exile II, Atarumaster88 finished Force Exile III in a little more than five months, starting in December 2007 and finishing in May 2008.[20] Many of the basic elements of Force Exile III were present in the original draft of the Force Exile saga, including the character of Jack Nebulax.[1] Nebulax marked the first non-canon character that Atarumaster88 did not create who was featured in a Force Exile work, which was based on the character's involvement in the first draft of the series. Other elements came from what had originally been labeled as Force Exile II in earlier drafts of the work.[16] Throughout the writing process of Force Exile III, Atarumaster88 established correspondence with the creator of Jack Nebulax, who provided guidance regarding the character and his role in the story. Force Exile III: Liberator was the longest combined work on the wiki at the time of its release, with a total size of approximately 817 kilobytes of content.[1]

Reception

Force Exile III: Liberator has yet to achieve the same level of critical attention, much less recognition that the first installment of the series has.[14] However, in a review conducted in August 2008, Jedi Master 76 praised the work, stating that he felt it was better than both books one and two, due to its unique plots and variety of interesting characters. He did criticize some elements of Liberator, stating that some parts were unrealistic to the point of being unbelievable.[21] Afterward, Atarumaster88 went back and made corrections based on Jedi Master 76's review and which he felt were necessary, including the partial rewrite of one scene.[1]

Yanibar Tales

Yanibar Tales is a follow-on anthology of short stories that chronicles the further lives of characters introduced in the first Force Exile trilogy. There are currently five stories written, Crossroads, Hand in Hand, Thunderchief, Iron Maiden, and Hard Code.[22] Atarumaster88 has not set a definite limit on the number of tales, saying that the intention of Yanibar Tales was to provide the flexibility to write more stories without needing the full development of a novel. However, he has currently planned for between fifteen to twenty tales in all.[1]

Crossroads

Dramatis Personae
  • Djinn Altis, Jedi Master
  • Selusda Kraen, Yanibar Guard
  • Spectre, Yanibar Guard
  • Milya Tayrce, Yanibar Guard
  • Sheeka Tull, starship pilot
Plot

A year after the formation of the Yanibar Guard, Selu, Spectre, and Milya personally take the Hawk-bat to Ord Cestus to locate and retrieve group of fugitive Jedi. En route, they encounter a local woman, Sheeka Tull, who had once been attached to both Jango Fett and another ARC trooper. Spectre develops a nascent attraction to her, but they stick to their mission, locating the Jedi. Selu speaks with their leaders, Djinn Altis and Plett, and they agree to bring their Jedi—over twenty of various levels—to Yanibar. Before they can escape, though, Imperial forces arrive on a Jedi hunt, led by Darth Vader. Spectre saves Sheeka Tull from a group of stormtroopers roughing her up and asks her to help their cause, and she agrees, having served alongside Jedi during the Clone Wars. She picks up most of the Jedi while Selu, Altis, Plett, and a few others try and reach the Hawk-bat. Before they can do so, they realize that Vader is nearby and will sense them. Plett and Altis spring out and engage Vader in a delaying action, buying Selu time to escape with the others. The Hawk-bat and Tull's ship, the Spindragon, leave Ord Cestus without incident, but both Altis and Plett are killed. Selu is at first depressed from the loss of the Jedi Masters, but the Force ghost of Altis appears to him and encourages him, saying that they will be there to help him. Selu is surprised to see a Force ghost, having believed that the technique was lost, but Altis tells him otherwise. Meanwhile, Spectre decides to get to know Sheeka Tull better once they return to Yanibar, even willing to help her extract the rest of her family from Ord Cestus once the Imperials leave. Despite her previous relationships, he finds in Sheeka Tull someone who fully understands him, thanks to her past experiences, and she reciprocates his feelings.[23]

Development

Crossroads came about after several scenes, including one set on Belsavis and involving Altis, were cut from Force Exile III: Liberator.[1] The first story in the Yanibar Tales, it has a total length of about eighty kilobytes.[24] The author also desired to give Spectre a love interest, as the character had finally grown enough emotionally in Liberator to be ready for a steady relationship.[1]

Reception

Crossroads received a review from Jedi Master 76, who read the work and overall complimented it, feeling the plot was well done, though he called it a fairly light read. However, in his review, he also commented on the lack of backstory for some of the newer characters.[25] Afterward, Atarumaster88 went back and made corrections based on Jedi Master 76's review and which he felt were necessary.[1]

Hand in Hand

Dramatis Personae
  • Annita Daowot Knrr, Bexpress Shipping
  • Jorgesoll Knrr, Bexpress Shipping
  • Cassi Trealus Kraen, housewife
  • Sarth Kraen, Kraechar Arms
  • Selusda Kraen, Yanibar Guard
  • Spectre Kraen, Yanibar Guard
  • Olno Mada, Yanibar Governing Council
  • Milya Tayrce, Yanibar Guard
  • Sheeka Tull, starship pilot
Plot

Set in 11 BBY, Hand in Hand is the story of the wedding between Selusda Kraen and Milya Tayrce. The story starts at their wedding ceremony and they recount memories of various times together throughout the day and as they leave on the Hawk-bat for their honeymoon. Milya plans a romantic evening onboard the ship, but, worn out from all the wedding planning and activities, falls asleep. Selu lets her sleep, feeling he could use the rest as well. When she awakes, Selu is preparing to bring the Hawk-bat out of hyperspace near Bespin and Milya is ashamed, feeling she has failed Selu sexually, though he tells her not to worry about it. They land on Bespin's Cloud City without incident and enjoy a romantic dinner at the hotel, followed by a walk along a balcony known for its scenic view. Upon returning their suite, Milya is preparing for their wedding night when suddenly the Dark Jedi Asajj Ventress appears in her room, bent on revenge on Selu for their duel on Emberlene years earlier. Selu fends Ventress off temporarily and he decides to go after the Dark Jedi, knowing she will not stop until one of them is dead. Milya resolves to go with him and the two equip themselves for a fight from a bag prepared in case of trouble. Ventress attacks again, but this time, Selu and Milya chase her across Cloud City until their duel reaches a climax at a Tibanna gas refinery. Ultimately Selu and Milya prevail over Ventress, and although they are both somewhat wounded, Jorge picks them up and takes them back to his and Annita's apartment, where Annita treats both of their injuries. After diverting official attention away from them by pretending to be innocent newlyweds, Selu and Milya return to their hotel, albeit a different suite since their previous one was destroyed. After a twenty-hour Jedi healing trance to cure their injuries, Selu and Milya finally get to enjoy their honeymoon and the start of their lives together.[26]

Development

The concept for Hand in Hand existed back in the third draft of the Force Exile saga, when the author decided to include a sprinkling of short stories. It was originally to be called Force Exile: Interlude. As with Crossroads, it had a very short writing period of less than two weeks, though extensive preplanning was done beforehand.[1] Its total length is ninety-six kilobytes.[24]

Reception

Hand in Hand was read and reviewed by Jedi Master 76, who praised the work as a quick but powerful and humorous read. He particularly enjoyed the appearance of Asajj Ventress, feeling that it brought a good level of suspense to the story.[25]

Thunderchief

Dramatis Personae
  • Pec Deplisk, Yanibar Guard
  • Arc Leyt, Yanibar Guard
  • Sunter Mardan, Yanibar Guard
  • Oscoe Nhash, Yanibar Guard
  • Zoled Nysaal, Yanibar Guard
  • Nak “Thunder” Rieves, Yanibar Guard
  • Feran Slayn, Yanibar Guard
  • Kaileedo Tosc, Yanibar Guard
Plot

Pec Deplisk, a veteran infantry soldier, is the second in command of Cresh Squad, a military unit in the newly formed Yanibar Guard and the only infantry squad without noticeable Force sensitivity as of 12 BBY. However, he and his unit are called to defend the Yanibar refuge when its existence is threatened by a group of pirates who have landed nearby. What's worse—most of the rest of the Yanibar Guard, including its leaders, are away on a secret mission. As such, Pec, aided by a new tactical AI, and his squadmates are assigned to approach the pirate encampment and spot targets for an airstrike. The strike will only be successful if the element of surprise is maintained, so Pec and his squad are ordered to avoid contact. However, upon seeing atrocities committed by the pirates, Pec is persuaded to attempt a risky rescue attempt in order to save the lives of innocent captives shortly before the camp is scheduled to be destroyed from the air. While the prisoners are freed, the pirates spot him, leading him to launch a single-man offensive against the pirates to stall for time until the airstrike arrives.[27]

Development

Thunderchief was designed as part of a new story by Atarumaster88 focusing more on the Yanibar Guard rather than the mainstream Force Exile characters. It was also intended to be grittier and more dramatic than other Force Exile stories, even other Yanibar Tales. The writing period was considerable, with the story taking over a month to write, due to the fact that the author made several revisions in order to create a different style.[1] Thunderchief has a total length of eighty-three kilobytes.[24]

Reception

Thunderchief has yet to garner critical attention.[25]

Iron Maiden

Dramatis Personae
  • Feran Slayn, Yanibar Guard
Plot

Feran Slayn is a sniper in the Yanibar Guard and part of the elite Cresh Squad unit in 7 BBY. At the story of the story, she has just returned from a difficult liaison mission to the world of Saloch. On Saloch, she and her squad were assigned to covertly aid native resistance fighters battling the violently xenophobic Lortan fanatics there. However, despite their best efforts, they were unsuccessful—and much to Slayn's frustration, the squad's orders prohibit them from directly engaging the Lortans in order to maintain plausible deniability. Finally, the Yanibar Guard command decides to terminate the mission, but authorizes one final set of airstrikes to hinder the Lortans before the squad departs. Slayn helps spot targets for the incoming airstrike, but her hatred of the Lortans causes her to open fire on them. Though she is successfully exfiltrated, along with the rest of her squad, she is emotionally devastated when she later learns that her thirst for vengeance caused her to overlook a key detail: the targets she had designated were occupied by resistance fighters. She spends the rest of the story dealing with the consequences of her decision.[28]

Development

Iron Maiden is the second story in the Cresh Squad subtrilogy of the Yanibar Tales.[1] It is unique among the Force Exile Series by being written entirely in first-person, a choice made for dramatic effect and to more deeply involve the reader in the fate of the character. When writing the story, Atarumaster88 was somewhat unsure of the ultimate fate of the protagonist, and therefore posed a vague question to two users in IRC, Jedi Master 76, and Thomas Rattim. Their answers ultimately decided the ending of the story.[29] Due to the complex emotional issues surrounding its writing, Iron Maiden took a large amount of time to write, with a total writin period of two to three months.[1] Iron Maiden is the shortest of the Yanibar Tales thus far, with a total length of sixty-three kilobytes.[24]

Reception

Iron Maiden has yet to garner critical attention.[25]

Cover

A cover for Yanibar Tales is currently in progress.[1]

The Essential Guide to Force Exile

The Essential Guide to Force Exile is a reference guide currently being written by Atarumaster88 which entered its release phase in July 2008. It will include characters, ships, weapons, technology, droids, a chronology, and a detailed family tree for the Kraen family, and Atarumaster88 is periodically releasing content for the reference work. Just as the The New Essential Chronology is narrated by in-universe historian Voren Na'al, The Essential Guide to Force Exile is narrated by Nihyal Ostrada, a Mirialan archaeologist who lives hundreds of years after the Battle of Yavin.[30]

Entries

Characters

Vehicles and Vessels

Weapons and Technology

Appendices

  • About the author

Cover

A cover for The Essential Guide to Force Exile is currently in the layout stages.[1]

Development

When Atarumaster88 initially set up the guide, it contained very little content, aside from a tongue-in-cheek mock press conference facetiously conducted by the author as a way to introduce the narrator of the Essential Guide.[1] Since then, the article has been modified to conform more or less to Atarumaster88's standard layout and has six separate sections: Characters, Chronology, Droids, Vehicles and Vessels, Weapons and Technology, and Appendices. Three of the sections were activated in the first release. [30] An additional content release occurred a few weeks after the initial layout and added navigational tools, infoboxes, and pictures to the guide. Atarumaster88 plans on releasing more content over several more releases, though he has not set a definite timeline for the completion of the work, or a full release schedule.[34]

Reception

The Essential Guide to Force Exile received preliminary accolades on its layout from Victor Dorantes prior to its first release.[34]

Future works

Yanibar Tales

One other work in the Yanibar Tales has been announced, titled Cloak and Datapad.[22] So far, the plot, timeline, and dramatis personae of Cloak and Datapad have yet to be revealed.[1]

Force Exile IV: Guardian

FEIVcover

Force Exile IV: Guardian is the fourth novel in the Force Exile Series and is set in the Rebellion era. Its dramatis personae includes Wedge Antilles and includes the Yanibar refuge established at the end of Liberator. So far, two segments of the novel have been released.[35]

Force Exile V: Warrior

Force Exile V: Warrior is the fifth novel in the Force Exile Series and follows Force Exile IV: Guardian.[35]

Force Exile VI: Prodigal

Force Exile VI: Prodigal is the sixth novel in the Force Exile Series and follows Force Exile V: Warrior.[1]

Yanibar Guard Sourcebook

The Yanibar Guard Sourcebook is a reference book dealing with the organization, composition and structure of the Yanibar Guard, as well as its history. So far, limited amounts of content for the book have been released.[36]

YGS1.2

Common elements and themes

Layout

The Force Exile works all include certain sections. These include a preface, a development section, typically with a "behind the scenes" subpage, and a common disclaimer. All of the Force Exile works contain one central page, with numerous subpages linking away from them. To provide ease of navigation to these subpages, as well as to other Force Exile works, templates such as {{ChapterNav}}, {{EGTFE}} and {{Force Exile}} are used. The disclaimer used as default for all Force Exile works contains the following items: 1) that all terms and names related to Star Wars are copyrighted by Lucasfilm, Ltd and their use in Force Exile terms is considered "fair use", 2) Edits to the works should be restricted to minor spelling and grammar corrections, 3) A statement of consistency with official canon, 4) a warning about types of potentially controversial content that may be found within the work.[1]

Guidelines

Atarumaster88 maintains a strict series of guidelines governing his writing, prohibiting most importantly Mary Sue characters, crossovers, conflicts with official canon, and content that he feels is inappropriate or objectionable. Atarumaster88 also seeks to leave positive themes in his work, feeling that Star Wars is ultimately about the triumph of good over evil.[1]

Preface

Also, all the Force Exile works have the same preface, created by Atarumaster88.[1][37] Welcome, my friend, to a galaxy far, far away. Enter the realm of Jedi and bounty hunters, soldiers and droids, rulers and beggars, aliens and humans. From Stackpole’s Corellians to Traviss's Mandalorians, immerse yourself in a universe with the exotica of Zahn, the wit of Allston, the grimness of Stover, the daring of Ostrander, the imagery of Luceno, the detail of Wallace, and most importantly, the vision of George Lucas, to whom we owe it all. And if you listen close enough, you’ll hear the sweet sounds of John Williams’ score in the background. Welcome to Star Wars.[1]

Content

Aside from these elements, the Force Exile works generally are structured the same way and have several common elements. Canon characters, locations, droids, ships, and events are woven into each Force Exile story. In particular, lesser-common elements from continuity are preferred, to explore beyond the limited realm shown in the movies. Atarumaster88 particularly feels that there are plenty of planets in the official Star Wars galaxy as it is and has only created one so far: Revan's world in Force Exile III. Typically included are other references to commonly used phrases or recurring concepts in Star Wars, such as "1138", "I have a bad feeling about this", and "May the Force be with you." All the novels also start on Republic or Imperial warships, just as the Star Wars movies and Timothy Zahn's books do.[1]

Origins

The story that became Force Exile was started years ago; while an exact date is not known, the author has found papers that date back to 2000 for the earliest concepts. The characters came about as free-form role-playing between Atarumaster88 and his brother, including one that has yet to be revealed. The first recurring major character to be developed was Sarth Kraen, who was an independent weapons dealer located in the Outer Rim. One particular adventure that was played out involved another character searching for Sarth's long-lost Jedi brother. This individual was the foundation for the character who became Selusda Kraen. These role-plays contributed little else to the story, and undoubtedly conflicted with canon, but they provided the inspiration for some of the basic ideas and characters.[1]

In 2006, Atarumaster88 joined Wookieepedia, and while his primary contribution was to the canon articles there, he also dabbled in some fanon on the side.[38] A few other users read his work and some of them had their own fanon stories. Elements from their respective works were intermixed into a loose sort of continuity before the project was shut down and Atarumaster88's fanon was deleted after a few months, a decision he does not regret. The story told there ultimately reflects very little of the current reality of Force Exile, as there were several notable differences. Selusda Kraen was originally known as "Luzdando Kraen" and Milya Tayrce was "Milya Tachi", a relative of Siri Tachi and a Matukai. The Mistryl never figured into the storyline at all, and Spectre was far from a major character, to name a few differences. Furthermore, Atarumaster88 readily admits that the story and the writing were of atrocious quality and is glad that the only copy of this primitive draft is in his sole possession.[1]

Over the period of about a half a year, Atarumaster88 developed what once been an article-style story into a cohesive novel, working heavily to refine the existing material. He outlined the chapters of Fugitive, developed a cohesive timeline and dramatis personae, and began using character diagrams for each scene of each chapter. The character diagrams were an invention of Atarumaster88's, designed to keep the relationships between the characters organized and coherent. A method actor, Atarumaster88 also employed thematic music to help get him in character while writing each story. The end result went through five drafts but ended up as Force Exile I: Fugitive. While he was initially loathe to venture over to the Star Wars Fanon Wiki, the appearance of notable Wookieepedians including Thefourdotelipsis, Riffsyphon1024, and Jaina Solo ultimately had a large influence on him and he began contributing in April 2007 with the first part of Force Exile I: Fugitive. In particular, Atarumaster88 noticed a paucity of actual novels despite the large number of entries in the novel category and hoped his work would encourage others to produce quality fan-fiction.[1]

Influences

The Force Exile saga has been influenced by a number of canonical works and non Star Wars works. Obviously, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith was a key influence, but other notable works can be found on the Behind the scenes segments of each individual Force Exile book. In terms of influential authors, Atarumaster88 lists Timothy Zahn, Michael Stackpole, Michael Reeves, Steve Barnes, and Steve Perry as inspiration in areas of writing technique and style. Another author who influences the Force Exile tales is Brian Jacques, the creator of the Redwall series. From Jacques, Atarumaster88 earned an appreciation of the importance of including everyday elements such as types of food, even in a science fantasy adventure. The Force Heretic series of New Jedi Order books helped influence the title of "Force Exile" for Atarumaster88's series. Obviously, Force Exile retains some minimal influence from the users involved in the first draft on Wookieepedia as well. A few elements from non-Star Wars works also appear in Force Exile works, including from Command & Conquer, Star Trek, Starcraft, Halo: Combat Evolved, The Lord of the Rings, and the The Chronicles of Narnia. [39] [1]


Notes and references

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 1.37 1.38 1.39 1.40 From the desk of Atarumaster88
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 2.28 2.29 2.30 2.31 2.32 2.33 2.34 Force Exile I: Fugitive
  3. 3.0 3.1 Talk page archive
  4. 4.0 4.1 History [1] of Force Exile I
  5. Behind the scenes of Force Exile I
  6. User talk page poll, as of August 2008.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Talk page archive 2
  8. 8.0 8.1 Talk:Force Exile I: Fugitive
  9. 9.0 9.1 The Third Star Wars Fanon Wiki Awards
  10. Paperbin of relevant stories
  11. 11.00 11.01 11.02 11.03 11.04 11.05 11.06 11.07 11.08 11.09 11.10 11.11 11.12 11.13 11.14 11.15 11.16 11.17 11.18 11.19 11.20 11.21 11.22 11.23 11.24 11.25 11.26 11.27 11.28 11.29 11.30 11.31 11.32 11.33 11.34 11.35 11.36 11.37 11.38 11.39 11.40 11.41 11.42 11.43 11.44 11.45 11.46 11.47 11.48 11.49 Force Exile II: Smuggler
  12. 12.0 12.1 Behind the scenes of Force Exile II
  13. 13.0 13.1 History [2] of Force Exile II
  14. 14.0 14.1 This statement is obtained by comparing the length of its talk page and the number of reviews compared with Force Exile I: Fugitive.
  15. Talk:Force Exile II: Smuggler
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Behind the scenes of Force Exile III
  17. 17.00 17.01 17.02 17.03 17.04 17.05 17.06 17.07 17.08 17.09 17.10 17.11 17.12 17.13 17.14 17.15 17.16 17.17 17.18 17.19 17.20 17.21 17.22 17.23 17.24 17.25 17.26 17.27 17.28 17.29 17.30 17.31 17.32 17.33 17.34 17.35 17.36 17.37 17.38 17.39 17.40 17.41 17.42 17.43 17.44 17.45 17.46 17.47 17.48 17.49 17.50 17.51 17.52 17.53 17.54 17.55 17.56 17.57 17.58 17.59 17.60 17.61 17.62 17.63 17.64 17.65 17.66 Force Exile III: Liberator
  18. Nebulax's inclusion in Force Exile III and all links to his article does not indicate that Atarumaster88 considers all the events of described in his article to be canon or part of the Force Exile continuity. Only the selected elements described in Force Exile III are considered to fall within Force Exile continuity, although the creator of Nebulax was consulted during the writing process.
  19. Talk page archive 4
  20. History [3] of Force Exile III
  21. Talk:Force Exile III: Liberator
  22. 22.0 22.1 Yanibar Tales
  23. Crossroads
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 Longest pages on Star Wars Fanon
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 Yanibar Tales discussion page
  26. Hand in Hand
  27. Thunderchief
  28. Iron Maiden
  29. Behind the scenes of the Yanibar Tales.
  30. 30.0 30.1 The Essential Guide to Force Exile
  31. 31.00 31.01 31.02 31.03 31.04 31.05 31.06 31.07 31.08 31.09 31.10 31.11 31.12 31.13 31.14 31.15 31.16 31.17 31.18 The Essential Guide to Force Exile/Characters
  32. 32.0 32.1 The Essential Guide to Force Exile/Vehicles and Vessels
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 33.3 33.4 The Essential Guide to Force Exile/Weapons and Technology
  34. 34.0 34.1 Talk:The Essential Guide to Force Exile
  35. 35.0 35.1 Force Exile IV: Guardian
  36. Yanibar Guard Sourcebook
  37. Atarumaster88 is not opposed to other people using the preface, provided they obtain permission first and do not claim Force Exile works or the preface as their own invention.
  38. At the time, fanon was allowed, albeit discouraged, on Wookieepedia, with few limitations on length.
  39. That said, Atarumaster88 despises crossovers almost as much as Mary Sues.
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